The nationwide COVID-19 outbreak has caused a sudden shift for many Americans to both virtual work and schooling as they practice social distancing. This increased reliance on residential internet access makes reliable, quality broadband even more critical than ever before. Apartment firms have long prioritized connectivity and in their apartment communities to ensure that residents have the broadband access that they need.
In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, there have been questions about how this will impact the telecommunications market. To address these concerns, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai urged Internet and phone providers to take the Going Above and Beyond to Keep Americans Connected pledge. Chairman Pai specifically asked companies with low-income broadband programs to expand and improve them and those without to adopt such programs. Pai also encouraged providers to increase speeds and relax data usage limits to promote remote learning and telehealth. The FCC announced that numerous telephone and broadband service providers have taken the pledge.
Connectivity will continue to be a top priority for apartment communities. As apartment firms continue to focus on providing their residents with safe environments to live and now work, NMHC and NAA will continue to closely monitor FCC activity to promote better connectivity during the crisis.
NMHC offers numerous resources on our “Coronavirus Resources for Apartment Firms” landing page, nmhc.org/COVID19, including guidance on COVID-19 preparedness along with a new series of webinars on managing challenges of the outbreak. We also recommend signing up for the NMHC Emergency Preparedness Listserve that gives apartment firms an opportunity to connect with industry peers, ask questions or share what they are doing to respond to the virus.
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